When you get a call from Executive Chef Ankit from Trident you are dead sure of something afresh in the culinary arena. That too: when you are invited to do food tasting along with a review. One always has a new experience with every visit to Trident and they raise the bar for every culinary journey. This time our culinary journey was for Hyderabadi Cuisine. We were introduced to Chef Arabinda who has been the brainchild behind this Hyderabadi Culinary journey. Our interaction with him regarding this cuisine became more animated as we went deep into the recipes and dishes. Why not both of us were in the comfort zone as we could talk in Odiya as he belongs to Odisha.
Hyderabadi food reminds of feudal lifestyle and a lavish cuisine, which is painstakingly labourious. The kebabs, the kormas, or the biryanis, entails many hours of marination, fine grinding and slow cooking while playing with spit fire. Today it is difficult to find this delicious fare with the same lazy comfort of the feudal atmosphere. The Hyderabadis are great connoisseur and passionate about food, this is what is reflected in the erstwhile Hyderabad state: one finds a kulcha embroidered in the flag. Hyderabadi food has its own distinct identity, a unique taste and exceptional flavour. The cuisine is the blend of the cultural traditions of North with the sauce and spice of the south. It is a meeting point of rich Mughlai cuisine symbolized by almonds, saffron, and khoya and the local condiments like, coconut, tamarind and green chillies.
Thus when you come across the likes of Mirchi ka Salan and Thikri Ki Dal/Khatti Dal with the famous Kachche Gosht ki Biryani one actually is getting mesmerised with the legacy of a bygone era when food was king. The single most distinguishing factor of Hyderabadi food is its sourness, which is of the Andhra influence. This not only adds to the taste, it is also good for heart and digestion. The main reason been because the climate is excessively dry and the souring ingredients are good for rehydration.
There is a mistaken notion that Hyderabadi food is all about non-vegetarian food. This probably stems from the popularity of nihari with naan for breakfast and not to forget Haleem. Indeed the non-vegetarian repertoire is rich and vast, but so is the array of vegetarian dish. Hyderabadis pickles and chutneys are famous and many dishes like the Mirchi Ka Salan and Baghere Baigan stands out in the crowd.
Chef Arabinda choice and spread were really regal whether it was vegetarian or non-vegetarian fare. The non-vegetarian included the Lacha Parantha, Kachche Gosht ki Dum Biryani as well Murg ki Dum Biryani and off course the famous accompaniment Mirch Ki Salan. No Hyderabadi is complete without Haleem and starters, which ranged from – Lamb Sheekh Kabab and Rashmi Murg Shekh Kabab.
For a change we settled for the vegetarian spread with Chef’s signature dishes. The appetiser was Bhune Makai Shorba followed by Pahlon ki Chat and Subz Shami Kebab: it has Carrot, beans, cauliflower, potato, paneer which are roughly chopped and sautéed in oil with cumin seeds, green chillies, garlic, and onion. Spices added in the Kebab are coriander powder, a pinch of turmeric and salt to taste. Then roasted chana powder added to make a dry mixture along with breadcrumbs & mint and made into patties. Then fried on tawa.
The showstopper was Lagan Ka lauki : this is a stuffed bottle gourd with all aromatic and dry fruits, the stuffed bottle gourd is then baked and cooked in a rich gravy of almonds cashew and other nuts, along with Veg Dum Biryani and the palate cleanser was Khatti Ki Dal: this dal has a variety of souring agents ensuring that it lives up to its name. This is quite famous among the Hyderabadi food connoisseurs and much in demand by the locals.
The dishes are have been delicately followed as per the description of the Khansamas of the Nizams Kitchen. Even the spices have been sourced to give the authentic taste to the dishes. Do tickle your palate with this royal spread at Trident which will take you to the royal gastronomical journey of the feudal lifestyle and lavish cuisine